Last week week Senator Fielding met with the Minister for Climate Change, Penny Wong to discuss the link between global warming and greenhouse gas. While Fielding claimed to have an ‘open mind’, this was rather undercut by his bringing four denialists to the meeting: Bob Carter, David Evans Stewart Franks and Bill Kininmonth. Naturally, The Australian gives them space to write about global warming isn’t happening and how their questions were not answered. Wong has answers to their questions (written by Will Steffen) here, but I’ll give my answers as well:
Carter and co write:
Is it the case that CO2 increased by 5 percent since 1998 while global temperature cooled during the same period?
Is it the case that the rate and magnitude of warming between 1979 and 1998 (the late 20th-century phase of global warming) were not unusual as compared with warmings that have occurred earlier in the Earth’s history?
Is it the case that all computer models projected a steady increase in temperature for the period 1990 to 2008, whereas in fact there were only eight years of warming followed by 10years of stasis and cooling?
A few diagrams to illuminate my answers:
The Hadley Centre’s record:
It is misleading to talk of a cooling trend because, to quote Bob Carter:
this trend is most likely produced by the single exceptionally warm 1998 El Nino year.
That was Carter in 2004 saying that 1998 shouldn’t count if it produces a warming trend.
Temperature reconstructions for past thousand years:
Computer model runs:
Of course, The Australian wasn’t satisfied with printing this piece from Carter et al. Yesterday they published an opinion piece by Michael Asten, that purported to assess Fielding’s questions and gave him 1.5 out of 3. Asten admits that it hasn’t cooled since 1998 and that short term trends aren’t meaningful but gives Fielding half a point anyway. And he gives Fielding a full point because he reckons that the Medieval warm period was as warm as the 21st century.